Bill to automatically enroll eligible students for scholarship program heads to governor’s desk
Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars program provides up to 100 percent tuition for public state colleges and part of the tuition at private and independent colleges for low-income students.
However, data shows nearly half of the eligible students do not apply for 21st Century Scholars.
Throughout the session, lawmakers and program advocates emphasized the reasons students and parents may miss the deadline to apply – including lack of understanding, language barriers, and mental health concerns.
Currently, the deadline to apply is by June 30 of the end of the student’s eighth grade year. A bill sent to Gov. Eric Holcomb would automatically enroll eligible low-income students into the program – bypassing this application requirement.
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The bill requires the Commission for Higher Education to identify students who are eligible for the program. The commission must then notify the student and parent or guardian of the student of their eligibility for the program.
Students are required to agree to a set of conditions – including maintaining a 2.5 GPA, completing certain financial assistance documents, and staying out of trouble. Students are also notified that they are allowed to opt-out of this program at any time.
If Holcomb signs the bill into law, these changes will take effect beginning July 1, 2023.